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CSE Colloquium Series

Matrix: Rethinking Computing in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Dr. Mark Kornbluh

Director, MSU MATRIX
Professor and Chairperson, MSU Department of History

Dean Rehberger

Associate Director, MSU MATRIX
Associate Professor, MSU Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures

Wayne Dyksen

Associate Director, MSU MATRIX
Professor, MSU Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Friday, February 29, 2008
Talk: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
3105 Engineering

Host: Wayne Dyksen


Information technology has revolutionized our world and our work, as small, fast, cheap and interconnected digital devices make previously unimagined innovations possible. Yet technology alone will not take us into this age. Successful technologies use rich content. Web sites, virtual environments, multi-media applications, learning simulations, computer games, all need art, words, music, choreography, and design to bring them to life. Beyond preparing researchers, educators and students to participate in this work, universities must also addresses the fundamental ways information technologies are affecting how people do their work in humanities and social sciences. Data analysis applications, 3D and computer modeling, global networking, simulations, all will change the ways faculty members and graduate students do their work in the Humanities and Social Sciences. New ways of doing intellectual work will be the norm.

High speed computing will be needed to help scholars:

• Mine and evaluate vast stores of digital objects (text, images, audio, and video);

• Model and simulate the complexities of the social life and human mind;

• Analyze and explore a variety of data types;

• Develop secondary repositories that support user generated metadata and facilitate social tagging; and

• Create and disseminate complex learning objects.

Universities in this digital age need to focus on research in the Humanities and Social Sciences that transcend traditional barriers and ways of working. The global economy, saturated by new technologies, demands a broader integrative vision of the role computer and network technologies play in our diverse cultures and lives, and requires that we support innovative interdisciplinary research based on information technologies with the goal of helping our students and faculty members carry out leading-edge, multi-disciplinary research on the use of computers and information technology in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.


Mark Lawrence Kornbluh

Mark Lawrence Kornbluh is Director of MATRIX and Professor and Chairperson of History at Michigan State University. Kornbluh is also the principal investigator on a wide range of grant-funded research and educational projects. He has spoken at conferences around the world on a wide range of digital humanities issues, and has served as an advisor and/or evaluator for several funding agencies on digital projects.

Dean Rehberger

Rehberger received his PhD from the University of Utah in a double-degree program in Rhetorical Theory and American Studies. He is Associate Director of MATRIX, the Center for Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online. Dean has been teaching with technology for over a decade. He specializes in using online technologies and developing educational resources for the World Wide Web. He has run numerous faculty technology and workshops and given presentations for educators and cultural heritage workers from local, national and international audience, recently workshops in South Africa, Italy and--on the MSU campus--for women scholars and social leaders from West African. His primary areas of research include: information design and architecture; digital libraries, museums and archives; Internet technologies in the classroom; and hybrid learning environments. He also coordinates many large grant projects for Matrix, including the National Gallery of the Spoken Word, a National Digital Library Initiative Phase II spearheaded by the National Science Foundation and the NSF/JISC grant, the Spoken Word: New Resources to Transform Teaching and Learning.

Rehberger teaches graduate course in American Studies (theories and methods), cultural studies, writing theory, and teaching with technology. He teaches undergraduate course in humanities computing, hypertext theory, and advanced web design and has extensive experience teaching Tier 1 writing. He has developed for the College of Arts & Letters at MSU a Humanities Computing Certificate Program for graduate students and faculty members.

Wayne Dyksen

Wayne Dyksen received a BA in Mathematics from Calvin College in 1977, an MS in Applied Mathematics from Purdue University in 1979, and a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Purdue University in 1982. Professor Dyksen is currently a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University, where he has been on the faculty since 2001. He previously served as chairperson. He also served as Executive Director of the Center for Information Assurance and as Dean in the College of Information Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He was a faculty member in the Department of Computer Sciences at Purdue University from 1984 to 2000 and in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Calvin College from 1982 to 1984. His current research interests include cybersecurity and information assurance, numerical analysis, high-performance scientific computing, and human-computer interfaces.